Verse > Rudyard Kipling > Verse: 1885–1918
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Rudyard Kipling (1865–1936).  Verse: 1885–1918.  1922.
 
The Anvil
 
(NORMAN CONQUEST, 1066)

ENGLAND’S on the anvil—hear the hammers ring—
    Clanging from the Severn to the Tyne!
Never was a blacksmith like our Norman King—
    England’s being hammered, hammered, hammered into line!
 
England’s on the anvil! Heavy are the blows!        5
    (But the work will be a marvel when it’s done)
Little bits of Kingdoms cannot stand against their foes.
    England’s being hammered, hammered, hammered into one!
 
There shall be one people—it shall serve one Lord—
    (Neither Priest nor Baron shall escape!)        10
It shall have one speech and law, soul and strength and sword.
    England’s being hammered, hammered, hammered into shape!
 
 
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